Our guided historical walks start on the 2nd July.
See our calendar for details.
For our final talk before the summer break, David Hinchliffe, one of our own members, told us all about the Torquay Historical Pageant of 1924.
Starting with the first of the modern historical pageants at Sherborne in Dorset in 1905, we heard how “pageantitis” gripped the nation, with one million people attending the Pageant of London in 1911. Torquay had to wait until 1924 to hold its own pageant, which took place at Rock End. Over 2,000 local people took part and over 25,000 spectators saw our our local history acted out, from Stone Age feuds through to the Spanish Armada and Princess Victoria’s visit to Torquay in 1833.
David concluded his talk by reminding us of the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, which he described as the latest interpretation of a historical pageant.
That is it for our talk season, we will regroup in September but in the meanwhile the guided walks start on July the 2nd.
“Belgian Refugees in Devon during the Great War” by Ciaran Stoker.
In 1914 no less than 250,000 refugees fled to Britain after their country was invaded.
Devon played its part in accommodating this wave of humanity, and Ciaran told us how this was achieved, along with some of the individual stories of those times.
An exceptional, very well presented and researched talk.
What a pantomime with the computers wishing not to communicate with each other? And the sound system? Well!!
Our double act of Chris Nicholls and Judith Read joined in with the fun until computers agreed to work together
James Charles Dinham and Isabella Cowan were the subjects for this evening.
James Dinham was a noted Torquay photographer who captured ordinary people going about their lives in the late 19th and early 20th century.
Isabella Cowan was a Canadian visitor in 1895, and we heard readings from her, “Aunt Belle’s Diaries” to complement the photographs. Her observations of Torquay at the time were quite contemporary.
A very enjoyable evening. Thank you
Chris Nicholls and Judith Read
Thank heavens we didn’t have to suffer the work houses.
A crowded St Anne’s Hall heard of the misery and monetary cost living in one.
A very well researched talk by our speaker John Ellis.
The crowds turned out on a foggy night for a spooky tale or two.
Did you know more people believe in ghosts in Torquay than any other area? Dr Kevin Dixon told us “An Unnatural History of Torquay’s Ghosts”. A fun and interactive evening.
Kevin’s visits to St Anne’s Hall are so very well received, he will return by popular request sometime next year.
Well what a turn out for this evenings talk by Phil Badcott.
“The Gilberts of Compton Castle” told us about the family that occupied this romantic house, just outside Torquay.
An amusing well presented evening. Little wonder Phil is a highly regarded researcher and speaker.
Not quite our shortest AGM at fourteen and a half minutes, but business was done and dusted ready for Rolf Soderlind.
“An Unsound Mind” is a novella written by Rolf Soderlind. Rolf appeared to be a little taken aback by the large audience in attendance. His talk and book is based upon events that took place in 1933 in the house that is now his home.
“An Unsound Mind” is available from Rolf and Amazon and is a gripping tale. Best of all you will recognise all the places in the book.
A rousing finish to our Winter program with Mike Holgate.
Songs with backing tracks to help tell the story and set the scene for Napoleon’s Torbay Holiday.
History in a very relaxed way. Well done Mike please come again.
Our own army waiting in St Anne’s Hall would have seen off The Vikings when they tried to conquer the West Country.
A very well researched offering by Derek Gore. Thank you for an interesting well documented evening.